NFF urges parliament to side with farmers on biosecurity levy

The National Farmers’ Federation is sending a message to politicians to do the right thing by Australian farmers as debate on the controversial Biosecurity Protection Levy kicks off in the House of Representatives today.

NFF President David Jochinke said despite the mounting evidence the levy was poor policy and should be scrapped, the Government had the numbers to wave it through the lower house.

“We call on Senators to see commonsense and hit pause on this legislation so they can listen carefully to the criticism this flawed policy has drawn,” Mr Jochinke said.

“It’s not just Australia’s 85,000 farmers who have raised alarm bells, it’s also the Productivity Commission, the Australian National University, the Office of Impact Analysis and even importers.

“While we never wanted this legislation to get this far, the best case scenario is for it to be sent to Senate Committee for appropriate scrutiny.

“This will provide the time and analysis to properly consider farmers’ concerns.

“We remind Senators, Australian farmers already spend millions of dollars each year in existing levies that already incorporate biosecurity spending as well as through managing the pests and diseases on-farm brought to our shores by importers and travellers.

“By paying another tax towards biosecurity services, they are effectively subsidising foreign competitors who import food products into Australia.

“Along with it being at odds with standard policy design and tax practice, this levy simply isn’t fair.”

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